Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents

Should Inventions Be Automatically Owned By Your Employer? 291

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the whole-greater-than-parts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Joshua Simmons authored an article for the N.Y.U. Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. The article is a comparison of the developments in copyright law and patent law in the nineteenth century that resulted in copyright law developing a work made for hire doctrine while patent law only developed a patch work of judge-made employment doctrines. The article theorizes that patent law did not develop an inventions made for hire doctrine, because inventive activity was almost exclusively perceived to be performed by individuals. It goes on to suggest that, as patentable inventions today are generally perceived to be invented collaboratively, the Patent Act should be amended to borrow from the Copyright Act and adopt a principle similar to the work made for hire doctrine."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Should Inventions Be Automatically Owned By Your Employer?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2012 @07:54PM (#42164275)

    By default/law, make it 50/50, and then let employers and potential employees negotiate.

    • by rtb61 (674572) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:10AM (#42166607) Homepage

      Wrong, you are paid to do what you are paid to do. Inventions can only be owned by your employer if you are paid to sit on your arse all day long thinking and trying to invent things. If you are paid to code they own the code, not any inventions. If you are paid to calculate they own the product of the calculations not any inventions. Of course not to forget fuck all catch all clauses as they are clearly false in intent and there is no way they can claim when you invented anything, their paid for time or in your time. You or your mind is never, ever a slave to someone else's greed, regardless what psychopath corporate douche bags like Thomas Edison try to write in contracts so that they can publicly claim to invent things other people actually did.

  • Depends .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @07:57PM (#42164295)
    If you've invented this on your own time, money, and resources there is no way in the shady side of hell that your employer should have any ownership of it. If you did this while being compensated by your employer, the situation is different. If you've used your employer's money and resources, then it is fair.
    • Re:Depends .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pwizard2 (920421) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:03PM (#42164337)
      If you're on the clock at work, then yes, it counts as a work/invention for hire. Even if you're salaried and don't really clock in, the invention/project should be 100% yours if it's something you invent/build out of your own house or garage.

      People have a life outside of work, after all.
      • Re:Depends .... (Score:5, Informative)

        by gr8_phk (621180) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:49PM (#42164639)

        If you're on the clock at work, then yes, it counts as a work/invention for hire.

        Nope. It's still yours in the U.S. Most employers who anticipate any inventing on the job require you to sign an agreement at the time of hire stating that everything you invent is theirs. Some of these agreements are very nice and cover job related stuff, others try to include unrelated stuff you think of in the shower. And even then, you have to sign paperwork to assign an individual invention to the company.

      • Re:Depends .... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @09:18PM (#42164813) Homepage Journal

        People have a life outside of work, after all.

        What a quaint and archaic concept.

      • Re:Depends .... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @09:19PM (#42164821)
        As most high level positions are Salary, I dont think "on the clock" works for everyone.
    • Re:Depends .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:35PM (#42164549)

      If you've invented this on your own time, money, and resources there is no way in the shady side of hell that your employer should have any ownership of it. If you did this while being compensated by your employer, the situation is different. If you've used your employer's money and resources, then it is fair.

      Well that depends...

      Most people can't compartmentalize their lives that completely. This is especially so when engaged in intellectual work (as opposed to factory drone work where you can simply flip a switch in your brain as you walk out the door).

      So if I hire you to develop a left handed corner scraper and in the process you create a patentable piece of work, you might claim (truthfully) that the idea came to you while sitting on the throne in your house on a sunday afternoon when you saw the reflection of the light switch in the mirror.

      Still, had you not been working for me explicitly on this project, you would, in all probability, never have had that spark of intuition.

      Its too easy for you to claim you had the idea after work hours. Every body mulls over work problems at home.

      Similarly, if you are employed to handle billing for your company and you stumble upon a totally unrelated idea, say for a new fishhook, on your day off or even on the job, its too easy for the company to claim it.

      Fishhooks have nothing to do with billing. Everybody mulls over recreational problems while at work.

      There needs to be a rational separation, such that your employer can only claim and idea when:
      1) the invention must have some relevance to your work duties
      2) you must be employed specifically to design/build/invent stuff
      3) you must have made some use of your employers facilities or time to develop, build, and test the invention
      4) you had access to some of your employer's proprietary information that helped you
      5) ??

      The night watchman at the Boeing plant plant that invents a new nose gear part after years of watching planes
      take off from his post in the guard station should still get to keep his design.
      The engineer or mechanic working on nose gear installation: Not so much.

      There is still a lot of grey areas, but at least rules like the above would eliminate a lot of patent grabbing. (From both sides).

      • Re:Depends .... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Shoten (260439) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @09:03PM (#42164721)

        If you've invented this on your own time, money, and resources there is no way in the shady side of hell that your employer should have any ownership of it. If you did this while being compensated by your employer, the situation is different. If you've used your employer's money and resources, then it is fair.

        Well that depends...

        Most people can't compartmentalize their lives that completely. This is especially so when engaged in intellectual work (as opposed to factory drone work where you can simply flip a switch in your brain as you walk out the door).

        So if I hire you to develop a left handed corner scraper and in the process you create a patentable piece of work, you might claim (truthfully) that the idea came to you while sitting on the throne in your house on a sunday afternoon when you saw the reflection of the light switch in the mirror.

        Still, had you not been working for me explicitly on this project, you would, in all probability, never have had that spark of intuition.

        Its too easy for you to claim you had the idea after work hours. Every body mulls over work problems at home.

        Similarly, if you are employed to handle billing for your company and you stumble upon a totally unrelated idea, say for a new fishhook, on your day off or even on the job, its too easy for the company to claim it.

        Fishhooks have nothing to do with billing. Everybody mulls over recreational problems while at work.

        So here's an example to draw upon that shows how the compartments still happen, regardless of how steeped in our work we are.

        I do cyber security, and I absolutely live, drink and breathe it. Several years back, I had been working on a book under contract. The book was germane to my field of professional expertise. I wrote it on my own time, on my own computer, and the content had nothing to do with my current employer. (Just to make sure that part's clear.) I got bored in my job, having hit a point where things were progressing no further, and gracefully started exiting. I had an offer from a company (let's call them "AC, which is the letters of the company name but rearranged") and was in the process of taking it, even having given notice at my current employer and started helping them look for a successor. Then, I got their intellectual property agreement, which stated that anything I put out was their property...ANYTHING...during my employment with them. I'd seen this before, and had asked at prior jobs...the solution is to tack on an exception for this or that thing, and that's how it's always gone. So no problem, right?

        Wrong. I called the recruiter, and he said they make no changes, no exceptions. I pointed out that they would be effectively stealing from me, as by this point the book was actually done, and just waiting to hit the printers. No flexibility. So I declined the job offer after all, and ended up taking a different one...which turned out to be much, much better in the end. Pity, as AC had plans for me to travel to a client and be the centerpiece of a project that was kicking off. They suddenly developed "flexibility for an exception," but by that point, I was past having any desire to interact with them on any level whatsoever, much less steer my career through the middle of that company. I went to work at EDS, and did beautifully. (Until HP bought them, that is...but that's another profanity-laden rant.)

        • by icebike (68054)

          Wrong. I called the recruiter, and he said they make no changes, no exceptions. I pointed out that they would be effectively stealing from me, as by this point the book was actually done, and just waiting to hit the printers. No flexibility.

          Your copyright exists from the time you type the words on the page. That it had not hit the street in book form yet had no bearing on the case.

          So your CURRENT employer may have had a claim against your book, but your prospective employer wouldn't.

          If you still had wanted to work for that prospective employer, you would have won any court case. But why the hell would you want to work there?

          Bringing it back around to my post to which you were applying, perhaps point 5 should have been:
          5) the inventio

          • Re:Depends .... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Shoten (260439) on Monday December 03, 2012 @12:26AM (#42165623)

            Wrong. I called the recruiter, and he said they make no changes, no exceptions. I pointed out that they would be effectively stealing from me, as by this point the book was actually done, and just waiting to hit the printers. No flexibility.

            Your copyright exists from the time you type the words on the page. That it had not hit the street in book form yet had no bearing on the case.

            So your CURRENT employer may have had a claim against your book, but your prospective employer wouldn't.

            If you still had wanted to work for that prospective employer, you would have won any court case. But why the hell would you want to work there?

            Bringing it back around to my post to which you were applying, perhaps point 5 should have been:

              5) the invention must have been created wholly during your time of employment

            I forgot to mention in my post (above) that ALL the rules had to be met for your employer to claim the invention.

            It doesn't matter. As soon as I need to debate the point with my own employer, I lose. I lose the money I made writing the book, instead using it to pay a lawyer. I lose a lot of time and energy fighting it. I lose goodwill with the publisher for getting them caught up in it. And I lose headway in my career...because let's face it, suing your own employer is NOT the way to get ahead in business. There's being right, and there's being smart. Relying on the first isn't always being the second.

            Oh, and even more importantly...there's the fact that my future employer was being an asshole. Why on earth would I work for them?

      • Re:Depends .... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @09:57PM (#42165031)
        "Its too easy for you to claim you had the idea after work hours."

        It's too easy to claim that an employer provided the "spark of intuition". It must have been bubbles in the watercooler, or something you heard in a meeting, or a thought you had while using the toilet at work!!
    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      also specifically if you're employer has hired you to invent something.

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      I think TFA is talking about inventions that happen on company time. Copyrights have "work for hire" and self owned works. While inventions belong soley to the inventor. TFA is suggesting, if you create something patentable on company time, it should belong to the company.
  • irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @07:57PM (#42164297)

    Employers have enough power to force employees to sign contracts as a condition of employment not unlike what you'd find in an EULA. No signature, no job.

    So it doesn't really matter in the long run what laws we pass unless we make it illegal for employers to ask for certain concessions.

    • Re:irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaMattster (977781) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:01PM (#42164321)

      Employers have enough power to force employees to sign contracts as a condition of employment not unlike what you'd find in an EULA. No signature, no job.

      So it doesn't really matter in the long run what laws we pass unless we make it illegal for employers to ask for certain concessions.

      Employers count on our fear of being unemployed to bully the prospective employee to sign away their rights.

      • Re:irrelevant (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @11:35PM (#42165409) Journal

        Employers count on our fear of being unemployed to bully the prospective employee to sign away their rights.

        that tactic falls flat awful quick when the prospective employee is not in fear, no?

        I recall turning down prospective employers who tried that tactic on other points, and since I was already working, I politely turned them down. You would be amazed at what an employer does when you're the one who turns down their offer. Most will try to negotiate to some extent, some will move on to the next candidate, and some (rare, but) will act like a jilted prom date.

        Besides, consider it this way: if they're that willing to screw you over on minor stuff like patents before you work for them, imagine to what depths of screwing they'll plumb once you're already an employee and have no other option at the moment...

    • Simple solution: invent a virus, let it rip, refer all calls to the owner of the virus.
    • by pwizard2 (920421)
      Doesn't mean you have to take the contract as-is (at least that was the case before this fucked-up economy made opportunity harder to find). It's possible to cross out parts that are deal-breakers for you, like non-compete clauses or situations such as this where the employer would claim anything you make whether it's done on your own time or not. If the employer agrees to the changes then you're only bound by the modified contract.
    • You have the right to modify an employment contract before you sign it. I've specifically modified the company's right to ownership clause for my last three jobs and haven't had any issues. My last job also required a background check and the contract implicitly allowed them access to my personal info for the rest of my life; changed that to 30 days.
      • by Rich0 (548339)

        You have the right to modify an employment contract before you sign it.

        Of course, but the employer also has the right to not hire you. I doubt that they're going to strike ownership of inventions made on company time. They might not even strike ownership of inventions made on your own time, though I think in practice if you came up with something of serious value unrelated to your work it would be hard for them to claim ownership even with the contract.

    • A) You can cross stuff out of the contract when you sign it. Presumably they want to hire you as much as you want to work there (on average).
      B) Some things don't matter even if they are on the contract. In California, they can put that they own your work, even if you do it on your own time, but that contract is invalid. It won't stand up in court. There are things you can't put in a contract.
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        A) That all depends on whether it is a buyer's or seller's market. When they have 20 people lined up to take the job, and every one of them is plenty qualified, No, they don't want to hire you as much as you want to work there.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      because people are making babies too fast.

    • by Endovior (2450520)
      Bleh, I know what you mean. There was a 'we get to own your inventions' clause in the contract for the last job I had, even though the job itself was a bullshit minimum wage tech-support deal. If they can get you to sign it, it's legal. If you don't feel like signing, there's plenty of people clamoring for a job, they don't need you specifically.
    • What do EULAs have to do with it? You can always reject them and that doesn't mean you don't get job, or have any issues in your everyday life at all.

  • by alienzed (732782) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:00PM (#42164319) Homepage
    will be our undoing. The reality is that we're sharing everything.
    • The reality is that we're sharing everything.

      What does that even mean? I assure you sir, that you shall never share my dentures. And if you do, they become yours and I get new ones.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:02PM (#42164331)

    More should be borrowed from the patent doctrine.

    Now, if you create a work specifically commissioned by your employer, the employer should own the right to use your creation, but not to make a product out of it, and resell it, unless you were hired and have in writing communication that the work was specifically for that purpose

    E.g. if you are hired to write custom software for an organization, by default that work should belong to you. If on the other hand, you were hired to build a custom software product, then by default, the work on that specific product, that you submit for that product, should belong to your hirer, as part of the understanding that you are doing product development work for them (versus just work for the benefit of their infrastructure).

    Development of a product (giving ownership of your creative work for purposes of resale) should come with expectations of greater compensation, because you are handing over not just your hours of work -- but an opportunity to profit as well, from the resale of the work.

    Whereas, development of software to meet an internal process, should come with an expectation that it is taylored to the needs of your employer's specific business, and you both retain rights to that.

    • Development of a product (giving ownership of your creative work for purposes of resale) should come with expectations of greater compensation, because you are handing over not just your hours of work -- but an opportunity to profit as well, from the resale of the work.

      You're killing american jobs, you know that, right? If we don't approve this, they'll be forced to take the jobs overseas, where such protections will be easier to obtain. Every attempt to restrict the profits of employers means less jobs for us, and jobs are what matter here, not letting some esoteric hippy non-sense about who owns what get in the way. And we all know that rich americans are the best kind of americans. Don't you want more rich americans? Employers already pay too much in taxes and health c

      • by khallow (566160)

        You're killing american jobs, you know that, right?

        You have advocated ideas in the past that kill jobs. So that is a valid point to make when appropriate and probably why you have heard it in the past.

        *vomits a little in her mouth*

        That is a stupid meme. Please stop doing it.

        That world starts by saying: I own what I create with my own hands, what I think with my own mind, and nobody can ever take it away.

        But you can trade it away. Which is your primary value in a modern economy. All these actions are voluntary. If you don't like such a contract, then don't agree to it.

        Now for a nice piping hot cup of reality: Those jobs will be shipped overseas regardless of what laws are (or aren't) passed. Rich people have no loyalty to their country, or their workforce, and neither should you. Fuck them over for every penny they're worth. Leave with zero days notice if you get a better job. Let them drink the free market koolaid too. And when it comes to copyright law... patent law... all of that, business exists in parts of the world where this doesn't, and in fact a lot of those jobs going overseas are going there precisely because they don't have the very laws they're lobbying for here.

        Go for it. However, you'll reap what you sow.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          You have advocated ideas in the past that kill jobs.

          Translation: "I agree with you this time, and I hate myself for it."

          That is a stupid meme. Please stop doing it.

          Translation: I'm cool enough to know what internet memes are, but too hipster to use them myself.

          All these actions are voluntary. If you don't like such a contract, then don't agree to it.

          Translation: I have never just clicked 'Accept' when an EULA pops up because I live in a fairy-tale world where my idiosyncratic notions of fairness are never questioned.

          Go for it. However, you'll reap what you sow.

          Translation: I'm too old and jaded to be optimistic about anything anymore, and you should be too.

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      More should be borrowed from the patent doctrine.

      Now, if you create a work specifically commissioned by your employer, the employer should own the right to use your creation, but not to make a product out of it, and resell it, unless you were hired and have in writing communication that the work was specifically for that purpose

      If an employer commissions you to make a work of art, they OWN that art. They can do whatever they want with it. IF you want to retain rights over the work, you need to negotiate that up front. Not the other way around.
      What you are saying is kind of like "Yeah I'll build this chair for you, but you can't resell"

  • The I.P. clause (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've wonder if the IP clause you find in employment contracts is even legal. How can an employer deem that they automatically own intellectual property I developed privately in my own time with a tenuous link to my current role? It makes *some* sense for employees where their role is to produce intellectual property, researches , authors etc, but it's hard to see how the blanket clause I've seen in every role I've had could stand up to a serious legal test.

  • by KC1P (907742) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:07PM (#42164363) Homepage

    Your employer absolutely should be entitled to any IP you produce ... *if* they're paying you for 168/hours a week. If it's only 40 hours/week then there has to be room for you to do your thing on the time that belongs to you. I hate it (and refuse to sign -- cost me a great job once) when they try to just stick a catchall into your employee contract. Contracts are supposed to be quid pro quo deals, not quid pro nothing.

    • by Deadstick (535032)

      IANAL, but if it were quid pro nothing, you'd be free to ignore it, because it would not be a contract.

    • by icebike (68054)

      So they pay you for 40 hours, and you develop the same damn product at home working nights and evenings, and manage (oddly enough) to sneak your's into the patent office one day ahead of finishing your work assignment.

      He beats you to market with YOUR invention, that you PAID him to produce.

      How fair is that?
      How would you feel if you were paying that guy's salary.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        How fair is that?
        How would you feel if you were paying that guy's salary.

        Just ask the Winklevosses. You basically described the founding of Facebook.

    • Your employer absolutely should be entitled to any IP you produce ... *if* they're paying you for 168/hours a week. If it's only 40 hours/week then there has to be room for you to do your thing on the time that belongs to you

      There are many benefits to being an "employee", but if you want to own stuff on your own, don't enter into an employee agreement with a company. Be a contractor. There are pros and cons of doing it both ways, but if you want to be an inventor, "employee" is definitely the wrong way to

  • IMHO, the major problems in IP law come from corporate ownership. It shouldn't be possible for corporations to own copyrights or patents, they should only be able to be granted strictly limited rights by the individuals who do own the IP.

  • The Shusters, Siegals and Ditkos of the world...
  • Inventions are almost always the result of collaboration. When hundreds of thousands of peers around the planet.

  • I cannot run my company, if I have to bargain for the invention that I paid my employee to develop. Now that being said, if I the employee developed the invention completely separate from the company then he certainly should own it.
  • In order to encourage people to get into STEM I think having some slice go to the actual inventors would be a good idea but a hard one to put into practice. For example how do you identify the guy who sticks his hand up in a meeting to cancel an 80 million dollar failure and says, "Hey did you bozos try adding salt?" which was the key to making the whole project work. Or how do you cut out the manager who divebombs the project 3 minutes before they file the patent and makes sure that the PR department only
    • by nschubach (922175)

      So if I start up a small software company (composed of only myself and a person I hire in at minimum wage to help clean the place) then I should be taxed at 100%?

  • Killing innovation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Steve1952 (651150) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:25PM (#42164479)

    One of the reason why California has so many startups is that California State law clearly states that work done by an employee for the employee's own time and business interests belongs to the employee. It is very clear that the author of this article has no experience with startups.

    If the default "inventions belong to the employer" rule was in effect everywhere, then the net effect would be to lock up employee ideas with little actual benefit to the employer. This is because most big companies are not very innovative, and thus fail to exploit most employee inventions. Most of the modern world as we know it would never have happened.

    Dangerous and bad idea. I hope that the article remains forever ignored after this.

  • In the past the individuals inventing stuff were rich people. In the 1800's knowing how to read was a huge accomplishment

    Having knowledge to invent something new was only possessed by a tiny minority of people

  • by slick7 (1703596) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:41PM (#42164581)
    I am sure that Nikola Tesla, Philo Farnsworth, Stanley Meyer would have other ideas. If employers are so smart, then they would not need employees. There are way too many thieves, liars, and greedy people who do very little to earn complete and total control of someone's invention. The mere fact that money is offered, with strings attached, to fund an invention is not enough for complete ownership. If an invention succeeds, the inventor should have no less than 55% of controlling interest. If it should fail, an inventor should not have more than 55% of the financial burden when there are investors staking their money. In any gamble there are risks on both sides.
    How many inventions are/ were shelved because it would upset the financial status quo of the greedy. Pure genius is not bought, traded nor stolen. It is a god given gift. Most inventors would like to live modestly while giving to humanity. Those entrepreneurs who live in the obscenity of avarice eventually get what they deserve.
    It's been over 100 years and still the truth of Tesla's inventions is protected by "national security", why? The powers that were are holding tight to these truths and yet, they are still coming into the light of day.
    This government had the big three auto manufacturers over a barrel. They could have been told to put on the road, an automobile seating four adults in safety and comfort, with sufficient power, and getting over 80 miles per gallon, at a reasonable price or get out of the business. What did these CONgressMen do? They threw taxpayer money at the big three for bonuses while the taxpayers lost their jobs, pensions, homes and futures. And then these asshats wonder why the American people are pissed at them, hmmm.
  • If you are employed to come up with patentable inventions then yes, of course. And even if you spend time developing it in your free time, Intellectual property is far to intangible to really differentiate, so I can see why it makes sense to own all inventions.

    If it is not in your job description (aka a main duty that you are being paid for), I do not care if it was completely worked on in your office using office supplies. They do not own you or your intellect.

  • as long as they pay back pay with over time and maybe even a overtime pay penalty for unpaided time as well.

  • If it automatically belongs to the employer, they'll hire some low-end attorneys (law school interns?) and patent anything and everything that comes to mind. Right now some developer has to think something is a good idea to get a patent. If every PHB on earth can patent what the employees do, you're in for a flood of seriously horrible stuff hitting the patent office.
  • Unlike a copyright where copyright springs into existence at the moment the work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression, getting a patent is a long, drawn out, and formal process.

    If you do something on the job and get a patent for your employer as part of the job, you'll know exactly who owns the patent before the patent application is even filed (your employer will be the owner 99.9% of the time barring weird exceptions). Your employment contract will spell this out in detail, and on top of that you'l

  • Simple answer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grayhand (2610049) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @09:36PM (#42164921)
    If they provide the resources for the development yes, otherwise no. The point is I remember the contract I signed while I worked at Disney. Everyone from the janitors up signed it and basically anything you created while you worked for them they owned. Translated if you were sweeping floors and happened to cure cancer they owned it. More realistically if you were hired as an office worker and happened to write a successful novel they owned the rights. The amazing thing is I talked to a lot of people there and they had no idea they signed that agreement. Most found out when they got that call from Disney legal pointing out what they had signed. Now say you are working in their robotics lab and come up with a new software or hardware design using their facilities then it's reasonable since they made the investment in the facilities and paid you for your time. It's blanket agreements that should be banned.
  • When you are hired to work for Radio Shack they make you sign an agreement that ANY inventions that you come up with while employed by them are their property. They also state that any future inventions that MAY have been thought up during your time working for Radio Shack also belong to them. This includes your own time. This is any invention during the employment period and any time in the future.
  • In a word: No. More completely, if the invention was made on company time using company resources then the company should own part of it, if not then they shouldn't own any of it.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.

Working...